How Can Students Concentrate On Their Studies?
Questioner: As a student, how can I concentrate better on my studies?
Sadhguru: Why do you want to concentrate upon something? You are not interested in concentration; you are only interested in producing the best results that you can. This starts with student life – that is the time when everyone is talking about concentration, and that is one thing that they do not have! Especially during examination time, all your concentration disappears. If you go and sit in the cinema theater, you are totally focused; if you sit with a textbook, your mind is so distracted, flying in a hundred different ways.
If you forcefully concentrate you will become like a concentration camp. You will become suffering. Instead of relaxing into life, why do you want to make life into a struggle? You will see if you lie down on your bed in a very relaxed way and read some novel – some love story or suspense thriller – you read at the rate of 70-80 pages per hour but remember every word. If examinations are about these books, you know where you will stand. But with the other book why is there so much struggle? The textbook has been created for an average intelligence; it is a common prescription for everyone. It is never written in such a way that only brilliant people can understand. So it is not the question of your capability, it is just the question of your involvement.
First of all, you are not really interested in educating yourself. You are only educating yourself because it will bring money, survival, and so many other things that you are dreaming of. If you read this textbook with the same involvement that you read a suspense thriller, you will see that you will remember every word that is written. You just have to fall in love with it, that’s all.
Whatever you are in love with, nobody needs to tell you to concentrate on that. If you fall in love with somebody, does somebody have to tell you concentrate on that girl or boy? You are always focused. The path of bhakti is just this: fall in love with something bigger than yourself – maybe your guru, maybe your God, maybe your deity. It will lead you on, because once you are in love with it, you will see all the qualities that it represents become yours in so many ways. So fall in love with what you are studying. Otherwise, what is the point studying it?
If you are just studying for survival, it is unfortunate. When you are young, if you are thinking about how to make money, you have wasted your life. That is the most foolish thing to do in your life. When you have a wife, a child, and gathered some nonsense, then you need some money; without that you can’t manage. That is different. But at least when you are young, see how to do the best possible thing that you can do in this world. It is good if all your life you can live like that, but at least when you are young, think of something bigger than yourself.
Think of something more than survival, of doing something beautiful. Even if you don’t do it, at least think of doing it – it elevates you. If a thousand people think about it, at least ten people will do it. As you get old, you will become more and more of a coward. You will call this cautiousness, but you are just afraid of life. At least when you are young, you can dare to do something which is not necessarily safe, but is beautiful to do for you and the people around you. You must live your life always young. Don’t think “young” means fifteen years or eighteen years. After all you will die very young – 50, 60, 70, 100 or 160 years, is still very young compared to the existence. It is just a few years.
Please do not think always in terms of survival. That is the reason why you are struggling with grasping things that you want to do – not because of concentration. You have simply not fallen in love with what you are doing, that is the problem. If you really love what you are doing, should somebody tell you concentrate? Your mind is always focused on it.
Editor's Note: Establish clarity, health & joy in your life with the Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya - an ancient 21-minute practice. Sadhguru will be in Chennai in December 2019 to initiate into Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya. Register for the IECS Chennai program.